Cruel Infidelity

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CH. 53: HEATHER

Heather’s shoes squish uncomfortably with each step she takes. Her heart skips a beat when the sign for the Bridle Crest Trail comes in sight. She scans her surroundings quickly before breaking into an awkward run, fleeing off the path and hunching under a tree. It’s useless at this point, her shirt is completely soaked through. She inspects her hand, grateful Tammy didn’t push whatever sharp thing she used all the way through. It stings badly and the aching radiates all the way up her arm. Realizing her hand isn’t going to just stop bleeding on its own, she removes her shirt and wraps it around her hand.

She’d run into Rachel’s old room and flung open the window the moment she saw blood on the knife she’d threatened Tammy with. She hadn’t really meant to hurt her with it, she just wanted to scare her. At least that’s what she wants to believe.

The fire escape ladder was rusted and took some wild shaking before it unlocked and flew open. The metal rungs had been sharp and rusted over. It was no easy feat descending the latter one-handed. Toward the end, she let go and jumped, landing awkwardly on her ankle.

She hobbles deeper into the trees, branches cracking under her feet. Each breath of cold air stings her lungs worse than the last. A sharp pain rises from her rib cage, and it takes everything in her not to cry out in agony.

She gives up on trying to balance herself on her haunches and lets her ass fall onto the damp earth. She inhales through her nose, sniffling against the accumulated snot. She exhales through her mouth to avoid her nose spilling all over her lips. The air escapes in a thick cloud of condensation.

“Mummy,” she says into her phone’s receiver. “Are you alone?”

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